Rest. It is almost like a bad word today, is it not? We fill our days with work and activities, studying, cooking, cleaning. We have ministry and church meetings, outings with friends and sports activities.
Last Saturday Kristin and I had our first language assessment with a woman who provides an outside perspective on the learning process and helps point out gaps and areas of struggle. A fear of failing is good motivation to spend every moment possible reviewing. I studied flashcards with a program I have on my phone, wrote out answers to as many questions as I could think of that she might possibly ask. I drew pictures to help me remember troublesome words and phrases, and read the dictionary. I felt guilty if I did anything else but study.
The assessment is over and I am grateful. I am still studying, still trying to work hard as we add in learning the Khmer consonants and vowels. Language learning is hard work for me but I press on.
Where does rest fit in to all of this? Isn’t working hard and studying as much as possible important? Yes, for sure. The activities that fill our days are normally good ones. But somewhere in the midst of all of this comes the idea of stillness. “Be still and know that I am God“, we find in Psalm 46:10. There is something more, something we learn about God when we find Him in the quiet of our lives and hearts.
In his book The Rest of God, Mark Buchanan writes, “Sabbath is both a day and an attitude to nurture stillness. It is both time on a calendar and a disposition of the heart. It is a day we enter, but just as much a way we see. Sabbath imparts the rest of God- actual physical, mental, spiritual rest, but also the rest of God- the things of God’s nature and presence we miss in our busyness”.
In the midst of the toil and trouble of language learning, my heart is not often still. I want to know more of God, find Him in times of rest. I am still learning what it means to rest in God, both as a day set aside and a state of heart and mind. I look forward to sharing this journey of discovery with you.
How about you? Have you found a way to practice Sabbath both in time and in mindset?